PHARR- Pharr-San Juan-Alamo ISD (PSJA) alumna and international award-winning poet Rossy Evelin Lima was recognized as the “Poet of the Year” by the Americas Poetry Festival of New York (TAPFNY) at the Instituto Cervantes in New York on Friday, Oct. 12, 2018. She was selected from among 43 distinguished poets from around the world representing 18 countries and seven languages.

The Americas Poetry Festival of New York 2018 is the fifth multilingual poetry festival and writers’ conference organized by poets and professors Carlos Aguasaco, Yrene Santos and Carlos Velásquez. To honor her work, TAPFNY will place a commemorative brick with her name engraved on it at the Poetry Circle located in the garden of the Walt Whitman Birthplace in Huntington, Long Island.

Lima graduated from PSJA Memorial High School in 2005. Determined to continue her education, she earned a Bachelor’s in Literature from the University of Texas-Pan American in 2009 and a Master’s in Literature in 2010.

Today, the proud PSJA alumna holds a PhD in Linguistics from the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, and is the author of the bilingual poetry collection “Migrare Mutare / Migrate Mutate" and the trilingual children's book “Noyolkanyolkej.” Her work has been published in journals, magazines and anthologies in nine countries.

“I feel all sorts of emotions earning this award,” said Lima who was granted this distinction for her literary achievements and for her poetry reflecting the dreams of her generation. “This award makes me feel like I am doing something right with my poetry and validates my story and experiences.”

As a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipient, Lima shared that a lot of her writing, poetry, and work in her community is inspired by her experiences as an immigrant.

During her acceptance speech, the poet, professor, and linguist professional, spoke about her immigrant identity and the sacrifices that are often made in order to follow our dreams. She emphasized the importance of leaving a mark in this country.

In addition to being recognized in New York, Lima was awarded the Premio Internazionale La Finestra Eterea in Milan, Italy in 2017; the Premio Orgullo Fronterizo Mexicano award by the Institute for Mexicans Abroad in 2016; the Premio Internazionale di Poesia Altino in Venice, Italy in 2015; the National Gabriela Mistral Award by the Hispanic Honor Society in 2010; among others.

She is also the president and founder of the Latin American Foundation for the Arts, the founder of the International Latin American Poetry Festival (FeIpol), and the founder of Jade Publishing.

Passionate about giving back to her community and the PSJA Family, she has been working with PSJA ISD leaders to provide opportunities for students to share their stories through the publishing of an annual Anthology of poems.

According to Lima, the 2017 and 2018 Anthologies each contain over 120 original poems from PSJA ISD students and others from across the Valley. The collection of poems are available for purchase online and worldwide.

“I’m very grateful to be a part of the PSJA community and come back to help students have their voices heard,” shared Lima. “Helping students have their work published validates their writing. The poems they write show their complete understanding of today’s world.”